Patrick A. Charmel, President & Chief Executive Officer of Griffin Hospital held a press conference Friday afternoon at the hospital regarding possible contamination of multi-dose insulin pens meant to be used on one patient.
During a recent safety meeting, the Pharmacy Director mentioned an inquiry she’d received about the use of insulin pens – could they have been used on more than one patient?
“We believe insulin pens, in a small number of cases, may have been used on more than one patient,” Charmel said. “When you inject the patient there could be backflow through the needle into a cartridge possibly transmitting skin or blood cells to the patient.”
Pens used between Sept. 1, 2008 and May 7, 2014 might have been used by more than one patient.
“We discovered that in a small number of cases, multi-dose insulin pen cartridges intended for single patient use may have been used for more than one patient,” a letter the hospital sent to patients stated. “Upon learning this, we stopped using this type of insulin pen to avoid any further potential for improper use.”
Although Hospital officials haven’t identified specific patients who received injections from another patient’s insulin pen.They said there also is no evidence that needles were shared. But it was important to be open with the public about the possibility and along with discontinuing the use of one type of pen. they are taking the following action:
The hospital recommends that patients identified at possible risk be tested for within the next 30 days for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV as a precaution. The hospital is offering free and confidential testing for patients whose pens were ordered for over the five-and-a-half year span.
Special phone lines, 203-732-1411 and 203-732-1340, have been established and will be staffed from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. to answer questions or concerns.